Sport and Recreation - Draft 2

SISCAQU026 Teach swimming strokes_Draft 2

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Unit application and prerequisites




Teach swimming strokes


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to prepare for and teach swimming strokes according to predesigned lesson plans which may have been developed by self or others. This unit covers skills to adjust lesson plans and modify planned activities to suit learner needs. Lessons are most often provided to groups but could be provided to individuals. Lessons can be provided to both children and adults.


Skills for planning lessons are covered in a complementary unit.


This unit applies to swim teachers who teach in aquatic venues including those operated by commercial, not-for-profit, community and government organisations. Swim teachers work independently using discretion and judgement to manage lesson logistics and solve routine problems. When significant problems arise, they use first aid and rescue skills covered by other units.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State or Territory legislation, Australian standards and industry codes of practice.


No occupational licensing, certification or specific legislative requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.






Community Recreation



Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

  1. Prepare for swimming lesson.
    1. Check and prepare aquatic environment to meet lesson requirements and identify and respond to factors that may impact lesson delivery.
    2. Prepare equipment suited to lesson activities and check for safety and serviceability.
    3. Assess characteristics and capabilities of learners on arrival through observation and questioning, and adjust lesson plan.
    4. Issue equipment to match learner characteristics.
  1. Introduce the lesson.
    1. Explain lesson activities using communication suited to learner characteristics.
    2. Provide clear information about safety procedures and signals, safe behaviour, safe areas and boundaries.
  1. Deliver the lesson.
    1. Introduce learners to the water using methods suited to learner characteristics.
    2. Implement techniques suited to learner needs and for teaching swimming strokes.
    3. Sequence and pace activities according to lesson plan adjusting according to learner needs.
    4. Provide clear and accurate instructions and demonstrations for swimming stroke drills and activities.
    5. Observe and analyse all aspects of learner stroke technique in a logical way covering body, legs, arms, breathing and timing.
    6. Determine stroke faults and provide feedback and corrective instruction based on observations.
    7. Respond to individual learner difficulties and modify their activities to suit needs and to ensure engagement and comfort.
    8. Facilitate effective group interaction to maintain group control, engagement and safety.
  1. Encourage and support learners during lessons.
    1. Encourage and respond to learner questions about activities and their technique.
    2. Use communication techniques that provide positive reinforcement and motivation to learners.
    3. Highlight learners’ key strengths and provide information about progression of skills.
  1. Evaluate the lesson.
    1. Seek learner feedback and evaluate satisfaction with lesson and skill progression.
    2. Evaluate own performance and identify areas for improvement.
    3. Complete documentation for learner progress, lesson delivery and evaluation according to organisational recordkeeping procedures.


Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:

  • interpret sometimes unfamiliar lesson plans which include swimming terminology and abbreviations.
  • interpret detailed familiar procedures for teaching and reporting on swimming lessons.

Writing skills to:

  • use fundamental sentence structure to complete records that require factual and subjective information.

Oral communication skills to:

  • provide clear and unambiguous information to learners using language and terms easily understood.

Numeracy skills to:

  • monitor and adjust lesson plan timings to meet requirements of lesson duration.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • critically evaluate successes and failures of lessons to contribute to improvements.


Supersedes and is not equivalent to SISCAQU010 Instruct swimming strokes


Companion Volume Implementation Guide


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Performance evidence


Assessment Requirements for SISCAQU026 Teach swimming strokes


Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • teach three predesigned group swimming stroke lessons:
    • each with a minimum duration of 30 minutes
    • each with at least four learners
  • across the three lessons collectively, teach aspects of:
  • for each individual lesson:
    • teach one stroke (freestyle, or backstroke, or butterfly or breastroke) as the main focus for the lesson
    • brief learners and provide safety information tailored to the aquatic environment and types of activities
    • use teaching and communication techniques suited to learner needs
    • modify at least two aspects of the lesson plan and activities in response to learner needs
    • complete accurate lesson records which include learner progress notes, feedback from learners, parents or carers, and evaluation of the lesson.


Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • key content of established industry guidelines for safe pool operations relevant to swim teachers, and associated policies and procedures implemented by pool operators and swim schools, in particular for:
    • qualification requirements, including those for rescues and first aid
    • working with children checks
    • obtaining informed consent from parents or carers of children
    • zoning for swimming and water safety programs
    • responsibilities of swim teacher, supervisory and reporting lines
    • teacher to learner ratios
    • emergencies, including rescue equipment that must be on hand
    • appropriate teacher swimwear and attire to be ready to perform a contact tow rescue
    • maintaining records for learner progress, lesson delivery and evaluation
  • environmental and other factors that may impact lesson delivery and how to respond:
    • water temperature, depth and gradient, and available water space
    • reflective glare
    • noise and distractions from multiple activities
    • class size
    • parent, carer and spectator interaction
  • safety considerations for swimming lessons and importance of clear and accurate briefing information:
    • safety procedures and how learners can signal difficulties
    • appropriate spacing for group numbers and activity types
    • depth and gradient for different types of drills and activities
  • safety and serviceability checks for learn to swim equipment
  • swimming strokes:
    • freestyle
    • backstroke
    • butterfly
    • breaststroke
  • for each of the above listed strokes:
    • a range of demonstration and instruction techniques, and skill progressions and progressive practices used for teaching
    • different types of drills, activities and equipment suitable for teaching
    • basic biomechanical principles and component parts of the strokes
    • observable body movements for each component of the stroke, including those for body, legs, arms, breathing and timing
    • ways of identifying stroke faults and suitable drills and practices for correction
  • learner considerations for selecting teaching techniques, activities and equipment:
    • age and body composition
    • fitness level and physical capabilities
    • emotional, behavioural and intellectual ability or disability
    • swimming skill level
    • skill development needs
  • ways of varying teaching and modifying activities:
    • to meet the needs different learner characteristics
    • to cater for individual abilities within a group
    • to suit different learning styles:
      • verbal
      • visual
      • tactile
      • kinaesthetic
    • to encourage reluctant learners
  • communication techniques used for the following, and how they may vary depending on learner profile:
    • establishing rapport with group
    • maintaining group cohesion and control
    • providing clear instruction in a group environment
    • motivating and encouraging learners of different abilities to keep them engaged and challenged
    • providing constructive feedback and positive reinforcement
  • factors which affect movement in water:
    • body alignment
    • balance
    • core strength
    • vertical and lateral rotation
  • forces acting on a human body moving through water, and factors that affect each force:
    • buoyancy:
      • hydrostatic pressure
      • water density
      • body composition
      • symmetry and asymmetry
      • breathing
      • centre of gravity
      • centre of buoyancy
    • propulsion:
      • lift force
      • drag force
      • frictional drag from water
      • levers
      • turbulence
      • acceleration
    • resistance:
      • frontal resistance
      • skin friction
      • eddy resistance
  • factors to consider in lesson evaluation:
    • suitability of aquatic environment and availability of suitable equipment
    • structure and timing
    • suitability of drills, activities, games and equipment for lesson objectives
    • learner progression and feedback
    • teacher communication and instruction.



















Skills can be demonstrated in:

  • a built aquatic facility with an operating indoor or outdoor pool used by members of the public. Facilities can include those operated by commercial, not-for-profit, community and government organisations. The facility owner or operator must have guidelines or policies and procedures to regulate the safe operation of the facility and its use by facility users and swim teachers based on current industry guidelines for safe pool operations.


  • a natural shallow calm-water venue with a confined swimming area.


The following resources must be available to replicate industry conditions of operation:

  • first aid equipment
  • communications equipment for emergency response
  • rescue equipment.


Assessment must ensure the use of:


Assessors must:

  • satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations requirements for assessors, and
  • have a collective period of at least two years’ experience working as a swim teacher, where they have applied the skills and knowledge covered in this unit of competency; the two years’ experience can incorporate full and part time experience.


Companion Volume Implementation Guide


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